As a truck driver, you need several tricks and tools for surviving the winter blues tucked away in your semi truck tool box, both literally and metaphorically. In our last article we covered some of the key reasons truck drivers can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and a few ways this can be effectively countered, such as with outdoor activity, cultivating peace of mind, and potentially using a “happy lamp” that emulates the sun’s rays. Now we are back with a few more tips (some obvious, some… a little less so!) to help you keep winter from turning inward.
Tip 1: Eat Healthy
It started with your mom when you were a kid, and indeed, this timeless wisdom is going to hound you for the rest of your life ‘till you give in. Long days and nights on the road make it tempting to stop at truck stops for foods laden with carbs, unhealthy fats, and sugars. These foods make it more likely that you will experience a blood sugar crash and the accompanying downswing in mood. It is essentially booking a ticket to an emotional roller coaster with no end in sight. The solution? Make sure that along with your trucking gear, your aluminum tool box also contains a slow-cooker, and that you have a mini fridge to cook yourself healthy, protein and vegetable-heavy meals.
Tip 2: Be Social
Let’s sharply contrast all of the lone trucker mythology out there with an image of you tucked away for the night, skyping on your phone or computer with a loved one. You’ve had a good meal, took a walk in the lightly falling snow, and now you get to hear all about your child’s dance recital, or listen to your partner express how they miss you but are so grateful that you work so hard for the family. These key moments, often sorely lacking in a trucker’s daily routine, are essential to feeling connected, loved, and a part of something greater. So don’t fool yourself with a belief in the tough-guy act. Truth is, while a semi truck tool box and other truck accessories are vital to your security, what we need above all else is people, and they need you!
We’ve just got to mention this unconventional but amazing way some truckers have found to counter loneliness: get a cat! Some companies will allow you to bring a furry friend on the road, and many truckers swear their feline friends just love to sleep on the dash.
Tip 3: Read, Write, and Listen
We can only hope that the semi truck tool box of the future will contain not only straps and wrenches, but also wellness tools. Imagine if every trucking company gave you a complimentary audiobook subscription? While listening to music is definitely helpful and motivating, there are so many other resources at your fingertips such as books on managing your time and mental health (because, believe it or not, it cannot all be covered in a couple articles!), as well as guided meditations and therapy exercises for those on the road and unable to join a class or go to counseling. And while you may not want to empty your mind completely as you still need to watch the road, you’ll find that breathing exercises, or simple, soothing music, can go a long way in helping to stabilize your overall mood and stress. Take some time in the evenings before bed to write out your thoughts and identify patterns. Getting to know yourself goes a long way in knowing what things are most likely to get you down, and when.
Take heart! Winter does not last forever. And if you thought summer couldn’t get any, well, sunnier, just think of how enhanced even the good days will be if you build up a solid arsenal of tools and habits to improve your wellness. Good luck!
Trebor Manufacturing is proud to be serving dealers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors in the trucking business, including truck parts dealers, across North America. Please feel free to call us, contact us or request a quote in regards to any of our semi-truck accessories including aluminum tool boxes, semi headache racks, custom semi-truck accessories and other products such as dump bodies and flatbeds.
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